Virginia Diminished Value Claims
A car accident can change your life in a matter of seconds, leaving you to deal with the stressful consequences that follow. If you were recently in a car accident, you may be concerned about the state of your vehicle. Although your vehicle will be repaired through the insurance company of the at-fault driver, it has likely become less valuable than it was prior to your accident and will sell for less, if at all.
Luckily, a diminished value compensation claim may address your concerns, if your vehicle has lost its value following a car accident. An experienced Roanoke car accident attorney at Lugar Injury Law can guide you through the process of filing a diminished value claim so that you can concentrate on what matters: yourself and your family.
What is a Diminished Value Claim?
Virginia Code ?46.2-1600 defines ?diminished value compensation? as the amount of compensation that an insurance company pays to a third-party vehicle owner, in addition to the cost of repairs, for the reduced value of a vehicle due to damage.
In a diminished value claim, where the property can be restored by repairs and the repairs would be less than the diminution in value because of the damages, the amount recoverable is the reasonable cost of restoring the property to its former condition. In other words, you can recover the loss of value of your repaired vehicle and the cost of repairs after an accident.
Am I Eligible for Diminished Value Claim?
Diminished value claims in Virginia only apply to liability claims, where the vehicle damage was caused by someone else?s negligence, and not to first-party ?collision? claims, where the damage was the result of the owner?s negligence or by somebody the owner allowed to drive the vehicle.
To prevail on a diminished value claim, you must retain and provide the necessary documentation, including: photographs of damages, photographs of the vehicle prior to the accident, photographs of the vehicle following repairs, and a written appraisal completed by a certified appraiser documenting the vehicle?s condition after repairs and the loss of value.
However, a diminished value claim may not be for everybody. The cost of an independent expert appraisal may outweigh a recovery if the accident was minor or if the vehicle is of lesser value. Whereas a vehicle of considerable value may justify hiring a certified appraiser and filing a claim to recover the diminished value of your property.
What About the Statute of Limitations
It is important to remember that you have a limited amount of time to file a property damage claim in Virginia. A claim for property damage in Virginia must be filed within five years of the date of the accident.
Contact a Roanoke Accident Lawyer Today
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is never easy, but filing a claim to recover for harm suffered can be. At Lugar Injury Law, we will analyze all aspects of your case and guide you through your property damage claim. To learn more about how we can help, call (540) 384-0348 today, or reach out through our online form. We offer free case evaluations.